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CELTIC-L  February 1994

CELTIC-L February 1994

Subject:

Celtic Genicide

From:

Wayne Crotts <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

CELTIC-L - The Celtic Culture List.

Date:

Thu, 17 Feb 1994 13:04:40 EST5EDT

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (157 lines)

NOTE:  This is a forwarded message from an associate of mine who I
knew would be quite interested in such a theory.  This is what she
had to say in response to the celtic-persecution theory.
__________________
 
Well, first off, I would like to know if this fellow could name a few of
the
books he read. If I agree or not, it is always nice to hear one's
sources.
 
When talking about Celts or Celtic tribes, it is important to define who
you mean.  There were Celtic tribes ALL over Europe.  Today, we
mostly
think of the Celts in Britain and Ireland; they often had other names on
the continent.  SO I think some clarity on who this fellow means is
important.
 
I think that saying Julius Caesar "ONLY" "set about the systematic
occupation
and dominance of western Europe" because he saw the Celts (and I'm
assuming
he means Celts in France and Spain) is far too sweeping.  I have no
doubt that
part of the reason Caesar did his conquering was to secure the
Roman borders.
But that is certainly not the "ONLY" reason. COnsider those classic
reasons
for conquering territory -- land to expand and material resources.  You
can see that this a more complex issue.
 
It is certainly true that the only written records we have of the Celts (in
Britain anyway) are from literate cultures who interacted with these
Celts.
And of course, cultural bias will be present.
 
But the upshot of Roman advancement was not "conquer and
destroy" but rather
"conquer and rule."  Peoples conquered by the Romans had to pay
fierce tribute
with goods and slaves, but in return they received many benefits of
Romans
civilization:  use of coinage, growth of towns, roads, etc.  Life was
perhaps not a bed of roses under Roman rule, but they did not seek to
subjugate the social customs of the Celts; for example, they allowed
the Celts
a moderate amount of religious freedom.  Nonetheless, because it
was not
"home" rule and because it was far more oppressive than the Celtic
tradition,
it was despised.
 
I definitely agree that the Romans were clever in making the Brittanic
Celts
fight each other (and that it didn't require much effort).  They're still
doing
it 1900 years later, after all . . .
 
To say that the Normans conquered Britain due to being influenced by
Roman
dislike of the Celts seems unjustified.  The Roman Empire had, for all
intents
and purposes, disintegrated around 400 AD (not counting Byzantium,
which is
entirely another debate); this is over 600 years before the Norman
Conquest
of 1066.  I for one would NEVER minimize the legacy that the Romans
left
behind, but I don't think their dislike of the Celts was something that
influenced William the Conqueror to attack Harold Godwinson; rather,
it was
desire for new lands, and to a certain extent, pride over a promise
presumably
made by Edward the Confessor (again, here we could start a whole
new debate).
 
At the time of William's victory, England was a conglomerate of
cultures,
a melange of Angle, Saxon, Jute, Dane, and Celt.  And while the
Saxons were
perhaps the dominant force in 1066, the Danes were running a close
second;
don't forget that a scant few weeks before the Battle of Hastings,
Harold
Godwinson fought a tumultuous battle at Stamford Bridge with Harold
Hardrada.
SOme historians say that this, not Hastings, was the turning point in
English history.
 
The acclimation of Normans to Saxons took a long time, but it is
generally
agreed that by the time of Henry II and Becket, the Normans and
Saxons were
beginning to think of themselves more as "English" than as seperate
entities.
 
My point in this tangent is simply this:  the Normans had things on
their
mind other than "let's get rid of those nasty Celts like the Romans
want
us to do."
 
As far as Pope Gregory, the same principle holds true.  Perhaps
keeping those
randy Irish out of trouble was a MINOR factor in ceding Ireland to
England,
but my opinion is he did this to consolidate Catholic lands in Britain.
And one conglomerate (England/Ireland) was a lot less troublesome
than
two.   (as an aside, if this is the same Gregory who had so much
trouble
at Canossa and with the Holy Roman Emperor, he probably didn't
think about
far away Britain overmuch.)
 
Northern Ireland vs the Scots -- this is far too complicated an issue to
resolve in a mere paragraph, but here's what happened:  the English
crown
(this case, Elizabeth I in the very late 1500's and shortly before she
died
in 1603; and James I as well) gave lands in northern Ireland to their
good
Protestant subjects.  It didn't matter that those lands for the most part
already belonged to Irish people; they had to move out/off and make
way for
the new landlords, period.
 
I hardly think Elizabeth would have considered herself a "Roman"
successor,
considering that her father Henry VIII broke rather violently to marry
her mother, Ann Boleyn, and begin the Church of England.  Indeed,
this set the
precedent of the British monarch being the head of the COE
thenceforth.
 
I think the northern Irish that were kicked off their lands were
protesting
merely for that reason, and those transplanted English/Scots fought
back to
retain those same lands.  Sorry, nothing to do with Rome at all!
 
Most of my information comes from the following:  The History of
Britain by
Sir George Clark; A History of World Societies by Robert McKay; The
Oxford
Illustrated History of the British Monarchy by Cannon and Griffith; and
1066:  Year of the Conquest (yikes, cannot remember the author).
 
Hope this is helpful!!
 
__________________
 
I hope this isn't taken as a flame, but an insightful response.  I would
hate for us to fall under the grip of celtic-centrism.
wc    res. prog spe.
      Child & Fam Dev.
      UGA Athens

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